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Bicycling Belgium's Best Breweries
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Bicycle Tours in Belgium: Bicycling Belgium's Best Breweries

You don't want to miss this unique beer and bicycling opportunity - the only tour of Belgium that mixes excellent bicycling, lodging, food, plus visits to some of the important Belgian breweries. Starting near the capital of Belgium, we'll pedal through West Flanders (the Flemish part of Belgium) and finish in Tournai in the region of Wallonia where French is spoken. This tour concentrates on two important beer regions (to add a third, join our 11-day tour!), the Lambic region just south of Brussels, famous for its wild yeast fermentation method which results in a sour beer, and the breweries around Bruges (or Brugge in Flemish), a mix of Trappist (monk-brewed) breweries as well as historical breweries such as DeCam. Two night stays at the beginning and middle of this trip means less packing, and more beer and bicycling! You'll also bicycle through important WWI battleground sites. Gentle cycling terrain makes this a great tour for everyone; in fact the only "requirement" is that you enjoy good beer and fun!

***If this sounds great but you'd like a longer tour, check out our Bicycling Belgium's Best Breweries Plus! tour, which extends this itinerary by 3 days.***

Day 1: Arrive in Waterloo

Highlights: Gothic and Medieval architecture, Belgian waffles

We start our tour just south of Brussels in the town of Waterloo, famous worldwide for the 1815 defeat of French Emperor Napoleon by an Anglo-Allied army in the "Battle of Waterloo". You might choose to arrive a few days early in Brussels to explore the Belgian capital. Brussels hosts a variety of fascinating architectural sites - from medieval architecture to post-modern European Union buildings. Stroll through town where Belgian waffles and "moules frites", or mussels served with French fries abound and "brasseries" or "salon de thés" are aplenty. Meet this afternoon for a bike fitting and test ride to the Lion Mound, the site of the infamous battle. Welcome drinks and dinner together to celebrate the beginning of our Belgian bike and beer tour!

Test ride: 13 km (8 miles)

Lodging: Hotel La Cote Verte

Day 2: Flanders Cycling

Highlights: Lambic beer, visit to DeCam Brewery

Our ride takes us through Lambic region today as we head West into the upper Ardennes and the heart of Flanders. We'll pass the region known for its Lambic beer and we'll have a chance to visit a small brewery en route to taste some of this unique beer made with natural yeasts. Our destination today is one of the oldest towns in Flanders, Geraardsbergen. We'll have dinner together this evening.

Daily Mileage: 60 km (37 mi)

Lodging: Hotel Grupello

Day 3: Ride to Oudenaarde

Highlights: Cycling through picturesque Flemish towns and countryside, Oudenaarde, Tour de Flanders Region

We pedal west today past lush fields along the gentle hills of Flanders - we're pedalling along the hills racers ride during the Tour de Flanders before continuing to our home for the night, Oudenaarde, a small Flemish town known once for its thriving tapestry economy. Today Oudenaarde is home to the museum of the Tour de Flanders that features the heroes of Flemish cycling, including Eddy Merkcx. Dinner is on your own this evening.

Daily Mileage: 43 km (26 miles).

Lodging: La Pomme d'Or

Day 4: Cycling from Oudenaarde to Bruges

Highlights: UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bruges, Flemish art museums, Flemish "primitives", beer bar visit and tasting

We bike to one of Belgium's most impressive cities today, Bruges (Brugge in Flemish). A quiet bike route takes us through farmland to reach the center of Bruges and our hotel. Settle in and plan to visit Flemish art museums or just stroll along the canals that were once main arteries in the city. The imposing medieval square and City Hall combined with the fantastic architecture characterize this unique city. Bruges' city richness in history and architecture is well displayed in its stepped gable houses, the market square with the belfort, in unique historic neighborhoods such as the "Beguinage", a community of lay women from the 13th Century, or through the almshouses that dot the city's ramparts from the Middle Ages. We'll regroup for a happy hour in one of Bruges's popular beer bars.

Daily Mileage: 70 km (44 miles).

Lodging: Martin's Relais

Day 5: Guided city visit, optional ride from Bruges to Oostende

Highlights: City tour, Canalside bicycle paths, beer bar visit and tasting

We'll have a guided visit around the city of Bruges mid-morning and then the rest of the day is yours to visit the chocolate museum, diamond museum or even the Belgian fry museum! Alternatively, take a gentle bike path to the seaside town of Oostende. Enjoy some seafood or "moules et frites" before returning to Bruges. Continue your exploration of Bruges--there are tranquil abbeys, convents and hamlets to see, or perhaps you are interested in the diamond museum since Bruges is Europe's oldest diamond center.

Daily Mileage: Optional, 48 km (30 mi)

Lodging: Martin's Relais

Day 6: Bicycling Belgium's Countryside

Highlights: Westvleteren home to the world's highest ranking beers, Ieper and Flanders Field Museum

From Bruges we pedal southwest directly through the West Flanders region, passing by the town of Esen (famous for its "mad brewers" brewery). Serious beer connoisseurs may want to wait for the afternoon guided tour, but we have several miles still ahead of us, so most will pedal on to our quick lunch stop before reaching another important beer stop. Westvleteren is one of only 6 authentic Trappist beers in Belgium (made by Trappist monks, a branch of Cistercian monks) and one of which is continually ranked amongst the top beers in the world. The 16th Century St. Sixtus Abbey is not open to the public, but you can still enjoy the world's highest ranking beers from the In de Vrede café across the street before continuing on to the town of Ieper, home to a fascinating museum that starkly documents WWI's impact on the region. Dinner on your own tonight.

Daily Mileage: 83 km (52 miles).

Lodging: Hotel Ariane

Day 7: Bicycling Wallonia and French Belgium

Highlights: Bicycling into Wallonia, Tournai, Gothic and Romanesque Tournai's cathedral

We leave the Flemish part of Belgium today to enter Wallonia, the French-speaking part of Belgium. Wallonia or "Wallonie," as the French call it, makes up 55% of the geographic area of Belgium. Once the first industrialized region of all of continental Europe due to important coal and iron reserves, today Wallonia is famous for its Trappist beers (Chimay and Orval are both here) as well as some industry, services, and tourism. We bicycle to the town of Tournai, the oldest city in Belgium. Incredibly rich in the Middle Ages thanks to its textile industry, Tournai still preserves important Romanesque and Gothic churches and private houses which are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Dinner together tonight.

Daily Mileage: 65 km (40 miles).

Lodging: Hotel Alcantara

Day 8: Our tour ends today

Highlights: Complimentary shuttle to Brussels

Thanks for joining us on this beer and bike adventure! From Tournai, we'll shuttle you to our Meeting Hotel or airport in Brussels arriving late morning. Bon voyage and Goede Reis!

***If this sounds great but you'd like a longer tour, check out our Bicycling Belgium's Best Breweries Plus! tour, which extends this itinerary by 3 days.***

  • Highlights
    Cycling quiet roads and paths, Waterloo, Flanders Field Museum, Lambic beer, Historic hotels, Guided brewery visits, WWI battle and historical sites, 3 Trappist breweries
  • Includes
    "The Usual" plus... Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 8 days, 7 nights accommodation; 7 breakfasts, 4 dinners, 1 lunch; 3 guided brewery visits; 'beer bar" in Bruges, 1 tastings with dinner; shuttle from and to Brussels
  • Countries
    Belgium
  • Begin/End
    Brussels / Tournai
  • Arrive/Depart
    Brussels Int'l Airport (BRU) / Brussels Int'l Airport
  • Total Distance
    334 - 382 kms (207 - 237 miles)
  • Daily Distance
    43 - 83kms (27 to 52 miles)
  • What to Expect
    Fantastic rides and the opportunity to sample and learn more about beer from an expert. Wonderful accommodations and tasty food.
  • Rating
    201
    Flat rides on small roads and bike paths. Some short hills in Flanders on Day 2 and 3.
  • Notes
    If this sounds great but you'd like a longer tour, check out our Bicycling Belgium's Best Breweries Plus! tour, which extends this itinerary by 3 days.
  • Terms
Dates Price Single
Supplement*
Notes Next
Step
Jul 29 - Aug 05, 2014 $3950 $550 Confirmed. Book It
Sep 02 - 09, 2014 $3950 $550 Confirmed. Book It
Jul 28 - Aug 04, 2015 TBA TBA Book It
Sep 01 - 08, 2015 TBA TBA Book It
*We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.
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Click on the "pins" for details about each day's highlights.

Map Key

Green pinStart
Yellow pinCity (on route)
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Other city dotCity (not part of route, provided for reference)
A lot of fun, good routes. Great total experience.
Rick S., Revere, MA
Beautiful scenery, interesting historical sites, great chocolate!
Carol W., New York, NY
Fun, fantastic....would do it again. Thanks for a great time.
Kimberly B., Phoenix, AZ
I loved everything-especially the tour leaders. We are hooked - we'll definitely be doing more ExperiencePlus! tours in the future.
Susan C., Brookeville, MD